royal botanical gardens engagement | karly & jonathan

All the forecasts had promised two things: it would be sunny, and it would be shockingly hot.

When we met Karly and Jon just outside the Royal Botanical Gardens, it was in fact both of the above. We escaped the heat in the gloriously air-conditioned visitors centre to do Karly's makeup and chat about their wedding plans. When we re-emerged 20 minutes later, the day was unrecognizable.

The bright blue sky had been replaced by a black cloud, and in the near distance, dark streaks of rain striped the horizon menacingly. Thunder rattled and lightning sparkled.

We all looked at each other with bewildered expressions, discussed the likelihood that the scary cloud and greenish sky might be a tornado, decided we could always run for shelter, and decided to get started. I'm not one to let rain get in the way of taking photos, after all. I actually love shooting in the rain, and the colours are always so much richer and more saturated on overcast days.

As we drove to the rock garden, however, this was what loomed before us:

When we arrived at the rock garden, though, it seemed like we had some time before the storm would hit, so we explored together, taking photos along the way. Karly and Jon had chosen this beautiful location with great care, so I wanted to make sure we were able to capture their love in front of these lush, gorgeous backdrops.

Photo above by Brian.

We wandered until an employee suggested we leave immediately or stay at our own risk. Overhead, the thunder rumbled in emphasis. We took shelter under a bridge or beneath trees, Which Karly and Jon didn't seem to mind. Photos on left above and below by Brian.

When the storm really hit, we ventured over to the greenhouse for some tropical warmth and humidity.

Photo below by Brian.

Karly, you've got a million dollar smile.

Photo below left by Brian.

Finally, when the storm slowed to a drip, we headed back outside (photo above by Brian).

Karly and Jon have a beautiful sweetness and comfort to their love. They've been together for many years, and treat each other with such care. As the rain started to coax out Karly's pretty curls, Jon helped tuck them into place as he told her how great she looked.

As you can see, it started raining again, but it didn't faze these two at all. They were patient and laid-back, and had a sense of fun and adventure.  With Jon being a chef and Karly an art history student and fellow photographer, they both value creativity and adaptability in the face of unplanned circumstances. In fact, I think they would also agree with me that rain is very romantic.

Don't you love Karly's beautiful engagement ring? It was a family heirlooom that they had slightly refashioned to their tastes. So stunning! On the right is the promise ring Jon gave Karly to let her know one day she would have his heart forever.

Karly and Jon, you guys are just so awesome. I am so happy you chose me as your wedding photographer, and man, I can't wait for your wedding next summer! With your two creative minds and your inspiring love for one another, I know the day will be nothing short of breathtaking.